The Death of a Dream

A grand jury in Ferguson, MO has been meeting since the end of August. They have heard more than 60 witnesses and seen reams of evidence. They’ve seen the injuries to police officer Darren Wilson. They’ve seen crime scene photos. They’ve seen the forensic evidence from inside Officer Wilson’s police cruiser. Tonight, the grand jury’s decision was made public.

They determined that the evidence showed Officer Wilson did exactly what he was supposed to do. He was found innocent and an indictment was not handed down.

Almost instantly, rioting began. State troopers were in place before the verdict was read, armed with rifles and full riot gear. Barricades were knocked over, rocks and bricks were thrown at police, windows were broken, and the rioters rapidly graduated to marching down the street, looting and setting businesses on fire.

If Dr. King could see what is going on right now, he would be openly mourning the death of his famous dream.

The “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra was born of the claim that Michael Brown’s buddy made to police after the shooting – that Brown had his hands up and was trying to surrender. We later found that Brown had just committed a strong-arm robbery, then when contacted by Officer Wilson he attacked the officer in his cruiser, tried to grab his gun, got shot during the struggle (after repeatedly punching the officer in the head), then tried to walk away. THEN, when Officer Wilson got out and ordered him to stop, Brown turned and said, “what are you gonna do, shoot me?” and charged him. The killing shot was fired into the top of Brown’s head, indicating that Brown was actually charging when he died.

None of that makes any difference. The evidence shows that there was no racism involved. No racist comments were made. Yet because an “unarmed young black man” was shot and killed, it absolutely has to be because the white officer who fired the shots was a racist. That’s the only outcome that any of these cretins are willing to entertain. This is the result of a lack of education and generation after generation of deep-seeded hatred being ingrained into these communities.

Yes, racism exists. Unfortunately I see it almost singularly from Blacks and Hispanics. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke passionately of his dream on August 28, 1963. He believed it so much that he refused to become violent in his drive to achieve equality. Today, most of the protesters would openly tell you that they don’t want justice for Darren Wilson. They have already written him off.

“I have a dream that all of G-d’s children – black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, protestants and catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘free at last, free at last, thank G-d almighty, we are free at last!'”

Sadly, tonight that dream has died.

Don’t Mess With The Narrative

On August 9, just a couple of weeks ago, Michael Brown was shot in the street by a Ferguson police officer.  Because Brown was an 18-year-old black male, naturally, and unarmed, he has become the newest cause in the vein of Trayvon Martin.

We didn’t even have all of the facts, and by the end of the day – the day he was killed – he was being immortalized as a “gentle giant” who had been shot by a racist white cop.  By the next day, protests had turned into riots.  The riots are continuing today, with everyone from the rioters to the governor of Missouri to the President calling for the officer, Darren Wilson, to be immediately and vigorously prosecuted. 

Who gives a damn what the facts are, right?  Michael Brown was a little angel who was innocently walking home and a cop randomly executed him because of his skin color.  Darren Wilson, if you’re buying the media’s story and that of the rioters, was a racist who committed cold-blooded murder and that’s all they need to know.

As is always the case, facts have come out since then that have shed a lot of light on what happened, but to see what’s still going on you’d never know it.  Last night two white protesters trying to defend the officer from the mob were violently chased until police put them in cruisers and physically drove them far from the scene.  Fully 57 rioters were arrested, yet only four of them were even from Ferguson – and of the 53 who were from out-of-town, another 16 were from other states.

Here’s what we have so far between the police and witnesses.

At 1201 local time, officer Darren Wilson was headed to a nearby convenience store that had been robbed when he spotted Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson walking down the middle of the street.  While still in his cruiser, he asked them to move to the sidewalk and out of the street; Brown and Johnson mocked the officer and refused to comply.  Wilson stopped, exited his cruiser, and again asked the pair to move out of the street.  Brown shoved Wilson back into his cruiser and began assaulting him, punching him with his fists and then struggling to take his gun from him.  At some point during the struggle, the gun went off, and Brown began to flee.  Wilson got out and leveled his weapon at Brown, commanding him to “freeze!”  Brown turned and said, “what are you gonna do, shoot me?”  Brown then rushed Wilson and Wilson fired several more shots until Brown finally fell dead in the street.

Some of this information has been disputed.  The original story was that Brown had his hands up and was surrendering, and the officer – out of spite or hatred – just decided to keep shooting.  A video was released, however, proving that to be false – a video of several witnesses in the neighborhood watching the crime scene and talking about what happened.  Then there’s the position of Brown’s body.  He was in the street, his head toward the cruiser, facedown.  Add that to the bullet trajectories, and the evidence shows that Brown was probably running when he was shot.  If he wasn’t running away from Wilson, that means Wilson is likely telling the truth.

Wilson was also badly injured.  We don’t know all of the details, but we know that he was taken to the hospital with severe facial bruising and swelling and it was discovered that he had an orbital socket blowout – meaning that the bone surrounding his eye had been shattered.  That takes a great deal of force to produce and normally requires surgery to repair. 

Then there’s statistics.  Those don’t lie.  According to the FBI, between 2003-2012 a total of 25 officers were killed with their own service pistols.  That means that the perps in these cases struggled with the officers, took their guns from them, and killed them.  That sort of situation is at the forefront of every officer’s mind.  If a man is willing to physically attack a uniformed and armed police officer, that officer is trained to assume that the perp has that very intention – now their life is in danger and they have no other option.  Since he had already struggled with Wilson once, I think we can assume that’s exactly what Brown had in mind.

But what about the robbery video, Mel?  If Wilson didn’t know about the robbery yet, why would they have released that video?  Well, let’s talk about that.  First of all, we don’t know if Wilson knew about the robbery; it is believed from several reports that he had heard about it and was heading toward the store that had been robbed, but we don’t know for sure.  Whether he knew about it or not, that video is evidence of something very important here, something I shouldn’t have to explain to anybody. 

Motive.

Do you think an 18-year-old boy is going to believe that a police officer asking him questions isn’t interested in him because of the crime he had literally just committed minutes before?  I promise that’s exactly what he thought.  Since he thought he was being contacted because of the robbery, I guarantee he felt like he had nothing to lose. 

Being unarmed does not mean he was innocent, nor does it mean that he posed no threat.  The fact that he was 18 doesn’t mean he was a boy; he was 6’5″ and weighed 250 lbs.  The fact that the officer might not have known about the robbery doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a reason to ask Brown and Johnson to move out of the street.  Brown’s parents should have taught him more effectively to respect the authorities in his life.

All of these people who are out in mobs rioting and demanding justice against an officer who is likely innocent are not making things better.  Rather than being violent and insisting on the outcome they want, they should be insisting that the truth come out – and be willing to live with whatever the search for truth comes up with.  If and when officer Wilson is vindicated, nobody currently screaming for his head is going to settle for that truth.  Governor Nixon won’t step forward to apologize.  Al Sharpton certainly won’t apologize.  Nobody is going to learn from this.  This incident isn’t about finding the truth…it’s about getting what they want, and what they want is to continue in their belief that the black community bears no responsibility for their current condition.  They want to believe that everything going on is someone else’s fault.  Until that mindset is challenged from their own leadership, nothing will change.

Oh, and about Dorian Johnson…he currently has a warrant out for his arrest in St. Louis for giving a false report to a police officer.  Don’t make him out to be innocent.

As for officer Wilson, his life is over.  He will never be allowed to live in peace again, and that is a travesty that cannot be put to words.  I am sorry that the Brown family lost their son.  It appalls me, however, that they are so willing to allow that officer and his family to have everything they know and love taken from them by the rabble.

Cruel And Unusual

Yesterday, the State of Arizona executed double-murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood. Using a new two-drug combination, State doctors sedated Wood at 1352 and then administered the death drug. The names of the two drugs have not been released. He was pronounced dead at 1549.

The fact that it took nearly two hours for Wood to die has sparked new debate on the death penalty and whether it is “cruel and unusual” punishment. I have to ask, though, how do we define cruel and unusual? Let’s start with the individual words. According to Merriam-Webster, the standard definition of cruel is, “disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings : causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair.” It also says, “used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it.” The standard definition of unusual is, “not normal or usual : different or strange in a way that attracts attention.”

The argument could be made that an execution is exactly that – different or strange in a way that attracts attention. It doesn’t attract attention for the cruelty, though. Put those two words together and it paints a much more accurate picture.

The word “cruel” brings to mind a psychopath – a person who sees the suffering of others as entertaining. That is how I would describe Joseph Wood.

Joseph Wood and Debra Deitz shared an apartment in Tucson in 1989. He was unemployed while she worked at her father’s auto shop. Wood’s bouts of rage and abuse often attracted attention; Debra frequently wore sunglasses to hide blackened eyes. Her father, Eugene Deitz, had attempted to accept Wood into the family at first; when he realized what Wood was doing to his daughter, Eugene made clear he disliked Wood. Wood let it be known that he didn’t like Eugene, even telling other people that “get him back” and that Eugene would “be sorry.” On June 30, 1989, a neighbor called police to report a very loud and violent fight coming from Wood’s apartment. The responding officer reported seeing cuts and bruises all over Debra’s body. Less than a week later, after yet another violent fight, Debra ended the relationship, took what she could carry, and moved back in with her parents. She took out an order of protection against Wood. That didn’t stop him from making more than twenty attempts to contact her at either her parents’ house or her father’s shop. On August 4, 1989, he left multiple messages on Debra’s answering machine, including one that ominously said, “Debbie, I’m sorry I have to do this. I hope someday somebody will understand when we’re not around no more. I do love you, babe. I’m gonna take you with me.”

The morning of August 7, 1989, Eugene and Debra went to the shop early in the morning. Wood called three times, each time being hung up on by either Debra or Eugene. The two left the shop for supplies; Wood called a fourth time and was told they would return shortly. At approximately 0850, a Tucson police officer noticed Wood driving “suspiciously” near the shop. The officer, a female, followed Wood’s vehicle. Wood parked at the shop and entered. After walking in the door he pulled out a .38 revolver. Many of the other six employees yelled at Wood to put the gun away. Instead, he walked up to Eugene at the front desk, raised the gun, shot him in the chest…and then smiled. The officer outside heard the gunshot and called for backup. Wood walked outside, saw the officer, and went back inside, pointing the gun at Eugene again. Eugene’s 70-year-old brother Donald tried to wrestle the gun away, but Wood shot him as well. Wood then made his way back into the shop and found Debra. He grabbed her by the throat and pressed the gun to her chest; Debra screamed, “no, Joe, don’t!” Wood yelled, “i have to kill you,” called her a bitch, and shot her twice in the chest. Police arrived and ordered him to drop his weapon. He did, but then picked it up and pointed it at officers. Officers opened fire, striking him several times. After being transported to U of A medical center, Wood survived, later to be tried and sentenced to death.

There has been so much to-do about Wood’s “botched” execution that you almost can’t find anything online about what he did to his victims. It absolutely disgusts me that the press is making so much noise about Wood gasping for air for an hour and a half that everyone has forgotten why he was being put to death in the first place. During his final words, Wood had the nerve to call on his “Christian conversion” – he said that he’d prayed for peace for everyone watching, and that G-d would forgive everyone present.

Those are not the words of a penitent man. In fact, they strike me as the words of a man who is still enjoying the pain he inflicted on an entire family 25 years ago. There is no Judeo-Christian scripture in creation that absolves one of the worldly consequences of one’s actions. In fact, according to scripture, even if G-d forgives you, you’re still culpable for anything you may have done. I fail to see why anyone administering the execution would need G-d’s forgiveness.

Richard Brown, Debra’s brother-in-law, was in the shop the day of the shooting. He spoke after the execution, only after a parade of reporters talked about how “disturbing” the execution was. He put it most succinctly when he said, “this man conducted a horrifying murder, and you guys are going, ‘oh, let’s worry about the drug and he felt!’…These people that do this, that are on death row, they deserve to suffer a little bit. This guy’s been here for 25 years getting medication, eating, roof, bed, clothes, shoes – where are they [the victims] at? Oh, that’s right, they’re dead. They’ve been dead for 25 years…I saw the life go out of my sister-in-law’s eyes right in front of me as he shot her to death. I’m so sick and tired of you guys blowing this drug stuff out of proportion, ’cause to me, that’s BS…all the witnesses that were there, friends of mine, still, friends of the family, still – it’s not just about him! It’s about other people that suffered, that are still suffering!…it’s about the victims. It ain’t about the guy that went to sleep and never woke up.”

Wise words. I wish the weak-hearted among us would listen closely.

Don’t Go There

During what seems to be the umpteen jillionth hearing on Capitol Hill about the failures of the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gun running program yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder showed breathtaking disrespect to members of Congress while being grilled by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).

Multiple requests by the House Judiciary Committee for the Department of Justice to turn over nearly ten thousand pages of documents related to F&F have gone unheeded. During yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Gohmert pointed out the fact that this documentation has been readily turned over to lawyers representing those accused of supporting terrorism, yet all the DOJ has been willing to provide the Judiciary Committee is a link to the parts of that evidence that has been made publicly available (roughly half of what has been requested). The frustration of the committee at being continually snubbed had already come out in the form of a charge of contempt against Holder, and it came out again when Rep. Gohmert rehashed all of the events leading up to yesterday’s hearing.

Not without reason, Rep. Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General…”

Holder’s response was incredible. Leaning back in his chair, he sniped, “you don’t wanna go there, buddy. You don’t wanna go there, okay?” He then proceeded to go on a tirade about how important this investigation has been. This after a similar grilling from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) during which Holder became visibly upset, saying, “I’ll put my record up against any other Attorney General, any other Justice Department, and any hint we have engaged in anything that’s partisan or inappropriate in nature I totally one thousand percent reject.”

Well, let’s take a look at that record, shall we?

During the Presidential election in November 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party were captured on cell phone video standing outside a Pennsylvania polling place in paramilitary garb, carrying nightsticks. Several people complained that they felt intimidated; some even left without voting. The Bush administration DOJ handily won the case against the NBPP when the members of the group failed to show up (and, you know – video evidence and all) to defend themselves against charges of voter intimidation. In his first act as the new Attorney General in early 2009, Holder tossed the win and dropped all charges against the NBPP and the specific members who were there, claiming there wasn’t enough evidence. He excused himself by saying, “When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.” In other words, what your people did back in the day was worse, so you can stop crying about what my people are doing now.

In 2009, Holder gave a speech on race relations in America in which he called us a “nation of cowards.” He went on to say, “Certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment, and at worst, the questioning of one’s character.” I’m sure we can agree with that last statement, although the subject that we would like to explore are very different.

In 2010, Holder attempted to take what was clearly a military matter and make it a civilian one. Several foreign nationals who had engaged US forces in acts of terrorism were set to go on trial and Holder swore that he would give them civilian trials in New York City. After the uproarious outcry over the move, President Obama had to force Holder to back off.

Last year, George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury during a trial to determine whether he murdered Trayvon Martin. In a flagrant violation of Zimmerman’s Constitutional rights, Holder announced an investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated almost immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced. In contrast, two incidents of racial hatred – one in Chicago, the other near Detroit – have been completely ignored by Holder’s DOJ. Both involved black children in poor neighborhoods being hit by cars after darting into traffic. In both cases, relatives and friends of the children involved mobbed the white drivers. Neither has seen one iota of attention from the DOJ’s civil rights division.

It’s been over a year since the news first broke of the IRS targeting conservative groups. Early on, an Inspector General reported that there was more than enough evidence of a conspiracy against conservative groups – the IRS was using its power to try to intimidate those who didn’t support Obama. Eight months into the DOJ’s so-called “investigation”, it came to light that the lead investigator, Barbara Kay Bosserman, was a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Holder had absolutely no answer for the questions that Ted Cruz had for him in January. Now, suddenly, in light of Holder’s thinly-veiled threat during the hearing yesterday, we’re hearing that the DOJ is actually going to prosecute Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal.

Convenient, isn’t it, that we’re calling him out for his record after he kicks back and flippantly all but threatens Rep. Gohmert and out of nowhere Lerner is being prosecuted? Quite the CYA moment.

It is astonishing to me that this administration hasn’t been held accountable for the multiple egregious scandals it has been embroiled in. If Holder doesn’t want us to go there, then maybe he should do his job rather than applying the law only to people he doesn’t personally like. And, really…the threats, sir? We all know that’s exactly what that was.

Don’t go there.

GUN CONTROL NOW!!! (Updated)

I knew it was going to happen, and it did. As soon as the news hit that there was a shooting going on at a DC Navy shipyard, liberal commentators the world over began renewing their calls for gun control.

There’s some reality that we need to look at here, though.

The shooter was identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. According to news reports throughout the day, we’ve discovered that on May 6, 2004, Alexis flew into a rage and shot out the back tires of a Honda Accord parked in a driveway next to the house he was living in. He was about 25 years old at the time. According to police reports, there had been some kind of dispute with a nearby construction site about parking in the area – but the Accord wasn’t even parked in HIS driveway. Witnesses say that for several days, he stared and glared at workers passing by his house. He was later arrested and Seattle PD pressed charges.

Shortly before his 28th birthday, Alexis joined the US Navy Reserves. How he was able to do this with a violent felony on his record I don’t know. He was not active duty – he served in Ft. Worth and worked at a Thai restaurant while he was there. In September 2010, Ft. Worth police responded to a 911 call of shots fired from Alexis’ apartment. He was 28 by this time. When police first arrived, he didn’t answer the door. As they prepared to make a forcible entry, he finally did answer – he claimed that he hadn’t answered because he “thought it was his neighbor.” He reported having a “contentious” relationship with the woman. He then claimed that the gun had discharged accidentally; he said he’d been cooking, his hands were slippery, and as he cleaned the handgun it discharged by accident. The neighbor, however, says she was terrified of him because he frequently got angry over the noise he said she made.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it is believed that he was not accepted for re-enlistment because of the second shooting incident. At least one senior defense official has commented that he had a history of misconduct.

Here’s my problem with this picture. In the 2004 incident, he gave police some song and dance about having been involved in rescue efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11 and said that he was “disturbed” by what he experienced. I’ve been disturbed by a lot of things I’ve seen – I’ve never used that as an excuse to fly into a rage and shoot at a person’s car. In light of that, I cannot believe his cockamamie excuse that his weapon “accidentally discharged” while he cleaned it. I grew up with guns. The way I’ve been trained, the first thing you do when you clean your steel is unload it. You don’t do it while you’re cooking and your hands are slippery – you pay careful attention, make sure your hands are clean (I actually wear gloves now), and use extreme caution. Add to that his own admission that he didn’t get along with his upstairs neighbor (whose floor the bullet traveled through) AND the previous incident, and I am convinced that he did it on purpose.

I don’t care if he played violent video games. I play Assassin’s Creed all the time, it doesn’t make me want to go out and shoot people. I don’t buy that he was so deeply disturbed by what he saw on 9/11 that he was that prone to “blank rage”. Especially considering what happened today, I think it’s likely that he was prone to outbursts of anger long before the 2004 shooting. That incident alone should have made him ineligible to possess a firearm. Legally, anyone who commits a violent act with a firearm is supposed to be considered a prohibited person.

What raises questions here is not whether we should all have to give up our guns. It’s not even whether we should have to go through more stringent requirements to get guns. It’s why he had guns after what he did in Seattle when he was 25. I can’t find whether he was convicted, but considering what happened I’m sure he worked out a deal. After the 2010 shooting, he was not charged, which tells me that whatever deal he worked out in Seattle included not being convicted of a felony and not being stripped of his civil liberties. THAT is what we should be questioning. The very instant someone deliberately walks out, pulls a gun, and shoots at anything in a populated area, whether they argue that they flew into some kind of rage should be irrelevant.

I’d be willing to bet we’re not going to find that Alexis was some kind of right-wing nut. I know the liberals are hoping he will be. Today was a tragedy that we should mourn, but it makes me nauseous that the political claws have already been bared.

I wish more than anything that we lived in a more peaceful world. I have said many times before that I wish we didn’t have to carry guns. I long for the day when we can “fashion our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks.” I love being a caretaker and wish I didn’t have to protect anyone, but the world we live in is full of fallible human beings who are capable of not caring about doing the right thing. If we lived in a perfect world we would not need armed police or military and we would not need prisons. The sooner everyone grasps that concept, the safer we’ll be.

***UPDATE***

According to another news source, Alexis arrived with only a shotgun. He collected the AR-15 and the handgun after storming the NAVSEA shipyard.

George Zimmerman: Not Guilty

One year ago, shortly after the news broke about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, I posted an article about it. You can read it here.

Today, a jury – after only two days of deliberation – found George Zimmerman not guilty on all counts. They did not even convict him of manslaughter. The jury wasn’t undecided – they voted unanimously to acquit. This is where some of my friends who are very angry about this start dreaming of my death:

This is exactly as it should be.

If you read the article I previously wrote, you’ll see a point I made about the Crown Heights riots. The Jews in Crown Heights in 1991 were brutally wronged and none of them have ever received anything resembling an apology for what mobs of black men did to them. Twenty-two years later, after Al Sharpton excused himself without ever apologizing for inciting those riots, he is once again center stage to call the verdict “an atrocity” and “one of the worst situations I’ve ever seen.” I wonder if he said that after Josef Lifsh tried to avoid hurting anyone as he was about to wreck and ended up killing a boy he couldn’t see in what was purely an accident.

Nobody is taking a center-of-the-road stance on the subject of Zimmerman’s acquittal. Everyone is passionately angry or rejoicing about it. Nobody wins in this situation; the Martins have still lost their son. Zimmerman will never really be a free man because tens of thousands of people want him dead now. Even people whom I respect (even though we don’t always agree) are wildly emotional right now, going so far as to call for the riots to begin.

That’s because all anyone has viewed this incident through is the lens of emotion. Some of my black friends – some, not all – heard his non-emergency call to police that night and believed immediately that the whole thing was racial. At least one person claimed to me that another non-emergency call to police has been played publicly but I have not been able to find anything other than his call the night of the shooting.

Here’s what I know. I’m in public safety. I’ve helped a lot of victims of burglaries and home invasions, both as a victim advocate and as an EMT. I’ve seen the havoc that kind of crime plays in a person’s life. What I hear when that call is played is a man whose home was broken into and is now paranoid that every stranger in his condo complex is trouble. On the night of the shooting, while he says, “I think he’s black,” I can’t hear racism in that. Calling him a racist for one call to police (when in reality he made nearly 100 for the neighborhood watch) in which he describes the person he sees as being black does not make him a racist. What I hear is a man whose adrenalin is going because someone he has never seen before is walking through the complex wearing a hood pulled low over his face. I don’t hear a racist.

This is where I say something that my other friends may not like. Zimmerman was completely irresponsible in the way he conducted himself. I’m a little different from most people; I have years of experience in tactics, close-quarters combat, and the use of small arms. I’ve been in martial arts for nearly half my life. I have a lot of experience, and while I am capable of being very violent if the situation calls for it, I try very hard to find another solution. I will only pull my sidearm as a last resort, if my life or the life of another is in jeopardy. If a person attacks me with his bare hands, I will handle it with my bare hands. I have never in my life had to actually shoot a person despite being attacked, and I hope that I never do have to fire my weapon at another human being. (As an aside, since Nancy Grace asked, I carry a firearm everywhere it is legal for me to do so, even when walking the dog. Why? Because the bad guy will target you when you least expect it.)

The most responsible thing any gun owner or CCW holder can do is get some training in hand-to-hand combat. Not the flashy karate or kung fu crap you see in the movies, but honest-to-Pete street fighting. I always recommend Krav Maga, not because it’s Israeli, but because it’s extremely effective. If you want Asian martial arts then you should be careful to find a place that actually teaches fighting, not one that promises you’ll reach black belt within a year.

He shouldn’t have gotten out of his truck, but if you listen to the call closely, you hear something quite interesting…he didn’t get out until after he told the dispatcher that Martin was running away. By that time, Martin had already noticed he was being followed. What he should have done (as I said in my previous post) was keep running until he got home. Instead, he circled around, called Zimmerman out, and attacked him.

Let me pose this question…if you were walking home in the middle of the night, would you cut through a strange neighborhood? If you did and you found someone following you, would you then pick a fight with that person? If your answer to both of those is yes, you have a problem. At night, if you must walk, you should stick to well-lit areas, preferably those that are populated. If you find yourself being followed, you should either ask the person, “can I help you?” or just run as fast as you can to the nearest populated area to get help. Your first instinct should NEVER be to yell, insult, or start throwing punches. The instant Trayvon did those things he was taking responsibility for a grave decision. Yes, Zimmerman was irresponsible for not knowing how to handle a confrontation with an unarmed person – but Trayvon instigated the violence, therefore he is responsible. Whether Zimmerman is a racist or not is irrelevant at that point.

I don’t think any of my black friends have ever been spit on for being black. I don’t think any of them have ever had a group of white people threaten them because they are black. I know that none of them have ever gotten death threats for being black. I have been spit on for being gay, I have been threatened for being white (while on duty and in uniform, no less), and I have been openly threatened for being gay. I was first called a faggot when I was in the third grade. Even before I began identifying as Jewish, I had several people – a couple of them black – call me things like kike and dirty Jew, merely for defending Jewish people. Even on the pages of this blog I’ve been attacked as a Jew. I know what hate is. These idiots calling for riots and brandishing guns on Twitter don’t know the first damn thing about hatred. They’ll perpetuate it, though, because something really needs to be done about all of these creepy ass crackas. I suppose I should be thankful that I can tell by the picture that the doofus has absolutely no training at all with guns, but unfortunately an idiot with a gun is still deadly.

Violence may solve a good many problems, but this is not one of them. Dr. King would be beside himself if he could see what is going on right now. Were it only that more would take a page from Lupe Fiasco’s book and turn the spotlight on themselves, we might not need to have this debate. Unfortunately the press turned this sad story, one in which everyone lost, into a circus and the public won’t learn anything from it.

None Of Us Are Perfect

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard those words. When I worked in prisons, both with youth and adult offenders, medium and maximum security, every single time I had to discipline an inmate who got out of line would say that to me. It has become the mantra of criminals the world over: the Bible says we’re all sinners, so you are no more perfect than I am, motherf**ker.

Reading through the last statements of death row inmates before they were executed by the State of Texas, the trend of “you’re not perfect, so don’t you dare judge me” continues. Many try to say that their death, even when they admit to their crimes, is wrong.

In my experience, those are the last fighting words of dying men and women hoping to be spared at the last second.

It’s human nature to want to live. That’s why suicide has such a stigma surrounding it. Every species on this planet does what they can to survive. Human beings are no different. The big difference between people and animals is that we have a conscience. We can make our own decisions. We do not go out into public and randomly murder other people because it’s in our nature to do so; we are taught early that stealing, hurting, and committing murder are wrong. Even if we’re not taught these things at home, it’s in the culture. We know that it’s not acceptable.

So when convicts – from the lowliest white-collar criminal who knows no violence to the monster who kills five people and then blames it on his hatred for another race – look you in the eye and tell you, “none of us are perfect,” they are lying by omission. They lie just as much to themselves as they do to you.

They lie by casting the spotlight away from themselves. They lie by pointing a finger at you so they don’t have to take responsibility for their own actions. They lie by belittling their crimes and the impact those crimes had on the victims (and, in murder cases, those left behind by their victims). They do it as easily as one would speak their own name; for sociopaths and psychopaths it is always easy, but for convicts who have a conscience and simply choose to ignore it, lying in this manner assuages their guilt for a short while. Eventually it doesn’t bother them at all.

I can’t work in corrections anymore because I don’t have the patience for that lie. I’ve been asked to come back – I simply won’t. Convicts are convicts whether they’re in Texas or Arizona, California or Maine. As I watch certain trials play out in the media, I can tell by watching the accused whether they’re guilty or innocent. You can see it in the way they respond and how the witnesses describe their responses in the days after their arrest.

We live in a culture that claims to want both justice and mercy. Liberals scream that the death penalty needs to be stopped, yet the same people who are against the death penalty are okay with abortions after the second trimester – and they set up websites and threads calling for men like George Zimmerman to be killed, whether he’s found guilty or acquitted. The media reports certain crimes in certain ways to get a lot of attention. Others, they practically ignore…then when the accused in those cases face the death chamber, they call for clemency, right after climbing down from their soapbox where they passionately cried for justice against an innocent soul.

This is what happens when we let our emotions rule us unchecked. It is compounded when there is a lack of education. In a day and age when the average twentysomething has developed the attention span of a gnat and a fantastic ability to process stories no longer than the average Twitter post, it’s not surprising. It is embarrassing, though, that this is what my country has become. I’m aware that none of us are perfect. That is not an excuse to behave like an animal, even if the atheists among us would have you believe that’s all you are.

Poor Jodi

I tend not to comment on a case while it’s still in the trial phase. Often I believe we don’t know enough about the case from what the media has said because the media will report on every little twitch, giggle and fart – truth be damned. They will report on rumors as though they are fact. This time, however, I don’t need a trial to tell me what I can tell from professional intuition. I tend to be very protective of women who have been abused. I deal with them professionally and have, more times than I can remember, watched them go back to their abusers because they don’t feel they have a way out. I know when I’m talking to a victim. I also know when I’m being strung along; not all women who claim to be victims are, and they frustrate me the most because they are the reason the true victims have such a difficult time getting help. The drama currently playing out in Phoenix is easy to figure out.

Jodi Arias is a complete sociopath.

We know what the facts are, and when you put them together they’re chilling on a level that most people don’t want to believe is possible. Jodi Arias met Travis Alexander during a conference for the company he worked for, Prepaid Legal Services, in Las Vegas in November 2006. Arias moved to Mesa (a suburb on the East edge of Phoenix proper, just East of Tempe) to maintain a relationship with Alexander. She lived with a roommate because Alexander was Mormon and living together before marriage is forbidden. By June of 2007, Arias began telling friends that she and Alexander had broken up. By April 2008, Arias moved back to Yreka, California, where she lived with her grandparents. At this point Alexander had already told his friends that Arias had been stalking him – hacking his Facebook page and slashing his tires. On June 9, after he’d missed several important appointments, co-workers and friends went to his home to check up on him. His two roommates, thinking he’d gone to Cancun, said he was out of town. Among those who had showed up to find him was one of the women he was supposed to have gone with, so they forced their way into his bedroom. Pools and trails of blood led to the master bathroom, where he was found dead (and practically mutilated) in his shower. His throat had been slashed, he had been stabbed 29 times, and he’d been shot in the face with a .25 caliber gun. He had been dead for five days. A bloody handprint was discovered on a wall and his brand-new digital camera was found in the washing machine with heavy damage.

Suspicion was immediately turned on Arias. All of Alexander’s friends agreed to give DNA samples – Arias complied as well, though she strangely began calling the lead detective on the case repeatedly to ask how the investigation was going and promising to help in any way she could. That detective discovered that Arias had also been accessing Alexander’s voicemail over the past several days and calling repeatedly, leaving multiple messages, beginning on June 4 (shortly after he would have been killed). She told the lead detective that she didn’t know anything about the crime, even said that she had last seen Alexander as she was leaving town back in April. The investigation turned up quite a trail of curious incidents.

On May 28, Arias’ grandparents called police to report a burglary. It was peculiar because the bandit took exactly one item from each room in the house, including a single .25 caliber handgun in a safe containing four guns, and cash and jewelry were left untouched. Somewhere around May 30-31, Arias asked a friend, Darryl Brewer, if she could borrow two five-gallon gas cans for a trip; on June 2, she rented a white Ford Focus from Budget Rent-A-Car and claimed the rental would be for local use only. Her credit card was used to buy several items at a Wal-Mart in Salinas, CA (including a third five-gallon gas can) and just over 20 gallons of gasoline (a Ford Focus typical to rentals only has a 12-gallon tank) on June 3. Salinas is just less than halfway between Yreka and Phoenix, a trip that would total 1013 miles according to Google Maps.

After the stop in Salinas (still 675 miles from Phoenix), her credit card wasn’t used again until June 6 – she used it in Sparks, NV, fully 737 miles from Phoenix. By then, however, she had gone to Utah to visit her new love interest – a man named Ryan Burns. He said that she was a day later than they had planned to meet and that, despite the heat, she wore long sleeves and had a bandage on one hand. She excused it by claiming she’d injured herself at work. After meeting with Burns, she drove back to Yreka. The Ford Focus was returned with more than 2800 miles on it (how’s THAT for local use?), the floor mats were missing, and the return report stated there were “kool-aid stains” on both the front and back seats.

Here’s where it gets really creepy. Mesa police were able to recover deleted images from the digital camera found in the washing machine. Whoever had run it through a wash cycle had first deleted several pictures; they wanted to be doubly certain that the images would be forever lost. Those pictures were of a sexual romp between Alexander and Arias on June 4. Both of them looked like they were having fun. Arias was even wearing pigtails during the encounter. The very last image, taken at 5:30 p.m., was of Alexander lying on the floor, bleeding profusely.

A DNA match was also made – it was Arias’ blood mixed with Alexander’s in the bloody handprint on the wall. By the time this evidence was discovered, Arias had lied to police multiple times, lied to Alexander’s family (even going so far as to send his grandmother flowers), and had gone to great lengths to throw off any evidence that she could have possibly committed the crime.

Is anyone else shivering yet?

Not even 24 hours after murdering Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias was cuddling and making out with another man in Utah. She gave no hint that anything had gone wrong. After her arrest for the murder, Arias appeared on 48 Hours to make her case to the public. Again, she lied. She admitted to being there, but that two intruders broke in and killed him – yet she had no explanation as to how she knew this and didn’t report the incident to police. Once cornered on that story, she changed the story yet again: she arrived at the new excuse she’s been using in court, that Alexander was abusive and forced her to engage in “uncomfortable” sex acts.

In my experience, a woman who has been abused to the point that she kills her abuser in a fit of blind terror isn’t arriving at that moment without there first being some kind of evidence. There are usually police reports of neighbors calling to report violence (and Alexander had two roommates), friends and relatives noticing bruises or other injuries (such as broken bones or burns), even hospital records. There was nothing on Jodi Arias. I’ve also never seen an abuse victim who didn’t live with their abuser continue to engage in a relationship with them over a period of over a year – or come back two months after moving away to have sex with them and brutally murder them.

Victims who kill their abusers don’t usually realize they’ve done it until the act is done, and it doesn’t include the extreme method that Jodi Arias used. It’s usually a single stab wound, one or two gunshot wounds, something simple and quick. It doesn’t involve heavy planning, renting a car, finding methods for purchasing gas and food well out of the way to make sure your credit card isn’t being used within hundreds of miles of the city where the crime was committed and going to play tonsil hockey with a man you’ve never met…all while claiming that you deeply loved the man you’ve killed.

Jodi Arias is a classic sociopath. She has no conscience. She feels no real emotion; emotion is a second language to her, one she has likely learned over her three decades of life to mimic. She’s proven that she is very good at turning it on and off at will to get what she wants. She is capable of telling a multitude of lies, and every time she’s caught in one lie she concocts anther set of them to cover her tracks. Now that she’s cornered yet again, she is putting on a grand show of weeping in court. I was there the day prosecutor Juan Martinez began his intense questions, yelling at her to look at the picture of Alexander’s dead body. It was an act that deserved an Oscar. It’s an act I’ve seen before and was just as unsettling in court as it is to witness in real life.

I only hope the jury is able to see through poor little Jodi’s stage act. Travis Alexander deserves justice, and victims everywhere deserve better.

It Just Can’t Happen Again

Somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 marched for life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 25. There wasn’t much said in the media – in fact, the last time one of the MSM shills interviewed someone about the abortion problem in America, Andrea Mitchell slapped down Juleanna Glover – after Glover had called herself “deeply pro-life” Mitchell insisted that she call herself “anti-abortion” in order to “use the term that I think is more value-neutral.”

Half a million people marched. That’s pretty impressive. Guess how many marched in support of gun control in Washington, DC the next day?

The best guess anyone is willing to offer is “thousands.” That’s it. Nobody is willing to say for sure because the left-wing media knows full well that it won’t come close to the volume of people that showed up for the March for Life.

I, personally, am thoroughly disgusted by how biased the media is being right now.

They have made clear that they don’t give a damn about the facts. They aren’t interested in actually protecting children; they see Sandy Hook and other mass shootings as a stepping stool to complete gun control, eventually even an outright UK-style ban. They have always wanted guns to be banned. Guns are only used for killing, you see. For that reason we have no right to own them. If you ask Sylvester Stallone, he’ll tell you that “it’s not 200 years ago, we don’t need this [the Second Amendment] anymore!” Yes, he actually said that. In fact, he said it in 2008 when he endorsed John McCain for president.

I hate to tell you this, Sly, but we do need it now. We need it more than ever.

The most disgusting thing about the march for gun control yesterday were the signs that said, “We Are Sandy Hook, We Choose Love.” Really? You think that because you are against guns, you are somehow more loving than I am? Let me explain something…I love every child in my family. Every single one of my nieces and nephews is a gift from God. I love them so much that if anyone ever tried to harm them, I would kill that person with my bare hands. I would rather they see me kill a person who is trying to be violent than have to bury them. What would I say to them in the aftermath? That there are bad people in the world, and you should never choose violence, but you should always be ready to defend yourself if the need arises. Yes, I believe those children are worth far more than the animals trying to murder them. Yes, I would be willing to kill to protect them. Yes, it is because I love them. The fact that anyone would accuse me of not loving those kids is an insult that I refuse to abide.

March organizer Molly Smith said she was “horrified by it [Sandy Hook].” Do you think we weren’t? Does anyone really believe that those of us who believe in and actively exercise our Second Amendment rights weren’t absolutely tortured at the thought of what those families were going through, what those children experienced in their last moments of life? There is a word for those who do believe such nonsense: narcissists.

My little brother has picked up a gun and gone to war twice because he loved his country and his family. He didn’t want us to have to survive another 9/11. He didn’t want his wife and children to live in fear. A good friend of mine died in that war because he believed in freedom and taking the fight to the bad guy rather than cowering and begging for mercy. Other friends came home in pieces because they believed in the cause of freedom. Now you want to tell them that they can’t defend their families on their own soil, in their own homes? You want to tell them – tell ME – that we cannot be trusted with the same tool that won our freedom in the first place and has won peace many times since?

Perhaps the absolute silliest parallel drawn during the gun control march came from 78-year-old James Agenbroad. He carried a sign that read, “Repeal the 2nd Amendment.” He said, “you can repeal it. We repealed prohibition.”

I don’t think Mr. Agenbroad really understands what he’s saying here. Prohibition was an outright ban on the manufacturing, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It lasted from 1920-1933. You could drink, you just couldn’t brew or distill or transport the stuff (making it a little hard to drink). Prohibition was a spectacular failure. It did absolutely nothing to stop alcohol from being produced, sold and transported – in fact, it made the trade a more lucrative business. It was Al Capone’s business.

You cannot make a point about gun control – repealing the Second Amendment and banning and confiscating all civilian-owned firearms – by invoking the repeal of a law that banned alcohol. If you don’t understand the ludicrosity of his statement, you are beyond my help.

What do you do when someone like Adam Lanza shows up with guns that the law prevented him from buying to shoot innocent people? Well, first you hide. Then you call 911 to beg for rough men and women to bring their guns to shoot him and stop his killing spree. There is nothing wrong with being afraid and wanting to hide. The problems come when you expect me to do what you’re doing. It will never happen. The fact that I see how evil people can be and am willing to stand up to them does not make me dangerous, nor does it make me different.

I’m not sure how much more I can take of these blithering nitwits declaring that “it just can’t happen again.” You keep saying that, and yet you’re setting us all up to be walking targets.

Please, Make It Stop!

Many of my friends have been posting a video clip of Alex Jones on Piers Morgan telling the British liberal elitist that “1776 will commence again” if the government tries to take our guns. They all think it’s great, but they forget who he is.

Jones is a 9/11 truther, a bona fide member of the tin-foil hat brigade who was interviewed along with several other truthers for a History Channel special on 9/11 conspiracy theories – toward the end of the special, he compared himself to Galileo, saying, “I’m saying the world is round, I’m saying that 9/11 is an inside job, I’m showing the official story is a fraud, a flat Earth theory, and I know I’m going to be vindicated.” Later, outside the Denver Mint (near the 2008 Democratic Convention was taking place), Jones went on a screaming rant during which he chased Michelle Malkin around the crowd, calling her “evil” and “a monster”. In an interview after that incident he claimed that he was set up, that his voice was normal, he was being polite and just asking a question – but that Malkin’s “people” created the video as disinformation.

In short, Alex Jones is a couple of french fries short of a Happy Meal.

I can’t stand the guy. He’s an embarrassment to the conservative cause. Completely aside from fudging the fact that 1776 actually wasn’t the start of the American Revolution (it had been cooking for years prior to the outbreak of the actual war, with the Tea Party occurring in 1773 – yes, I really am that cheeky), Jones did exactly what Piers invited him on the show to do: have a complete meltdown.

Jones fudges a few points in his long-winded growling and howling session. He states that out of 11,000 supposed gun deaths in America in 2012 (a figure that can’t be backed up since statistics won’t be available until next year), 74% were gang-related – that is false, and he never says where he gets his ridiculous statistics. The most recent statistics available from the FBI show that in 2011, 12,664 homicides occurred. Of that number, right around 68% were committed with firearms – 8,583 exactly. About 53% of all homicides occurred during the commission of another crime (burglary, robbery, auto theft, rape, etc.). According to the statistics, only about 673 homicides in 2011 were inter-gang in nature – that’s about .5% of all homicides. Oops.

Rather than calmly countering Piers’ questions about gun murders in the US as opposed to the UK (something that’s easy to do if you simply compare violent crime rates as a whole), Jones just calls him “a Hatchet Man of the New World Order” and then tells him to set up a boxing ring. Jones is a one-man wrecking crew; Piers knew what he was doing when he invited him, and Jones played right into it. He beautifully made the Limey’s point that those of us who support the Second Amendment are all drooling mouth-breathers who don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation.

He is the pathetic caricature that President Obama paints all conservatives as. Sadly, the media is only to happy to give him airtime because of it.

Not quite two years ago, however, Ted Nugent went on Piers Morgan’s show and very articulately took him out to the woodshed on gun control. It’s so beautiful it almost brought a tear to my eye. You aren’t going to see Nuge or John Lott on Piers right now…he’s too busy building the aforementioned narrative.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=50vUx0DfGtE]